Day 95 Question 95:
What is your relationship with your father like? How do you view him?
Yesterday a very kind fellow blogger commented on one of my entries. He told me that he would love to hear more about the relationship my father and I have in spite of all of our differences on major issues. In his exact words he said, “how about highlighting all the political differences between you and your father, and detailing how you can still find GENUINE love and respect for each other. I’m just so tired of divisiveness in this country right now. There is a bitterness against the opposite party. I think it would be so refreshing to hear from somebody that can find love and peace, regardless of political differences, a real life example of it.” There was NO WAY I could not accept this challenge. Talk about something to sharpen my mind.
My dad is my hero. He always has been and always will be. I tend to talk easier and more freely with my mom but my dad and I have this unspoken connection. As a little girl I was so close to my dad. I would follow him around like a puppy and sit on his lap. Nothing beats the memory of falling asleep in your parent’s bed and having your dad pick you up and carry you to your own bed. I am biased because he is my dad and he dedicated a huge part of his life to raising me. In growing older though I did realize there were a lot of divides when it came to different political/societal issues. My dad was born in the late 1930’s and I was born in the last 1970’s. That is a HUGE generation gap and times have changed so drastically.
So where do the differences lie between the two of us? Well, my dad is not against change but he strongly believes that if something worked at one point then it is perfectly fine to continue doing it that same way. I believe in continual change. I love change. I ache for change. Obama may have preached it but I actually practice it (yes, that was a slam against Obama). My dad is a die-hard Republican. He is not much for women’s lib. He is against abortion. He believes in the death penalty. He has always said he was pro-life (which always seem contradictory if you are against abortion but for the death-penalty). He does not believe in teachers unions. He could watch Bill O’Reilly 24 hours a day…well he does watch Fox News in excess. He believes CNN is far too left-wing (which I find amusing because Fox News seems extremely Right-Wing to me).
I am the type of person that tries to look at things from every angle. I try to understand where people are coming from and why they think as they do. I believe we have become a nation of fighters and we have been too accustomed to arguing when we should instead choose more peaceful resolutions. My dad thinks I am too much of a new generation “hippie”. I meditate twice everyday and I believe in a lot of holistic healing. I believe in the potential of there being a previous life and an after-life. I keep my mind very open to everything because I believe there really aren’t a lot of solid answers in this world.
As you can see with how I have described the two of us we are very different. My dad is solid in his view points and when he believes something he is completely sold…no ifs ands or buts about it! I, on the other hand, can be easily swayed in different directions if someone educated me or shared their opinion that seems to make sense and seems very logical.
So, how is it that we still have a great relationship even through all of our differences and our mindsets? Our relationship is solid because we don’t allow it to be any other way. What I have learned about my dad and myself is that we convey our emotions very similarly. Even though we may not always vocalize how we are feeling and tell people exactly how we are feeling about them (in a positive way) it is always something that is just known with us. We both carry this kindness in each one of us and this caring about each other, our family and the world and there are no need for words. We know this about each other and that is what makes our bond so special. How could I not admire a man that stands up for what he believes in and is passionate about making the world a better place (even though I may not agree with all of his ideas). I may debate him on certain topics but what right is it of mine to tell him he is wrong? He may shrug his shoulders or give me a puzzled look when I go on a rant about something I am passionate about but he never tells me I am wrong. I believe if society worked more in this way then we might be able to have a more peaceful nation. Too many people work through their defensive nature and think in such a ME ME ME way, i.e. “I am right” or “Well this is how it should be”. Too many people state these things with absolutely no backup. We live in a world with great diversity and great opportunity to learn from each other but instead we choose to fight because everyone wants to be right (well not everybody but far too many people).
Maybe I am a dreamer (as I have said many times before) but if society could function in a manner like my dad and I do in our relationship of father and daughter then we might have a lot more agreement and a lot more resolution. There are millions of teachable moments in the world and it is our ignorance and our selfishness that is letting these moments just pass us by. My dad has taught me so much in this life and even if our hearts don’t feel the same thing, he is my mentor because he is giving me an opportunity to learn. My dad is the person that has given me strength. He will never be the enemy just because our opinions are different. Imagine how boring the world would be if we all had the same viewpoints.
There are times when I will silently watch my dad without him even knowing and I will become amazed over how much of him is in me. It is funny because I have a little bit of a closer relationship with my mom and my sister has a closer relationship with my dad but when it comes down to it I am more like my dad (passionate, outspoken, always thinking about world issues) and my sister is more like my mom (maternal, caring, kind, family-oriented). Our dynamic works perfectly though.
I hope in a sense I have answered the question that my blogging friend had for me. There are so many people I don’t understand and cannot relate to but because of those things I refuse to hold hatred against them. Hate is not only a strong word but a strong emotion. The peace I have come to embrace comes from the ability to look through the eyes of another. I remind myself constantly that I have never walked in another person’s shoes EVER so before I judge or draw conclusions I need to either find out more information from them or remind myself that it is unfair to dislike someone if I know nothing about them. People’s pasts would probably surprise a lot of people as well as allow people to understand others a whole lot more. We are all shaped from different molds and I choose to use this to my advantage and learn from others. Yes I will find people to be ignorant but again I try to be understanding because their knowledge may be different from mine. I am not saying everyone has to think like this but I do believe that if people tried just a little bit more to understand that everyone has walked a different path and it is unfair to make snap judgments and assumptions, then we may have a lot less animosity and anger in this world.
I went a little off topic there…that is a little piece of my dad in me. Anyhoooooo, I hope many of my readers have a parent that they can look at in a heroic way. I am beyond lucky to have the parents that I do. I would share them with everyone if I could because I find them to be such great people. Everyone deserves the same love I have received. To all of you, regardless of your points of views or your background or the path you have taken I still see goodness in all of you and that will never stop. I hope all of you are able to embrace this beautiful thing we call life :0)